Embraer expects to finish discussions with prospective customers about a powerplant choice for a re-engined version of its popular E-Jets in around two months’ time. According to Embraer executive vice president for the airline market Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, it expects to choose between CFM International, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce as the sole supplier roughly a year later.
The re-engined airplanes, which are expected to reach the market in 2018, would offer double-digit improvements in fuel burn and operating costs. “Everything is under assessment,” Silva told AIN. This includes a proposal to increase the seating capacity of the E195–the largest airplane in Embraer’s stable–by some 10 seats. The re-engined airplanes would also likely feature a new wing and a landing gear change to accommodate larger fan diameters. “There’s nothing definite yet,” said Silva, “but we’re open to all possibilities.”
However, Silva stressed a desire to maintain as much commonality with today’s E-Jet line as possible, mainly due to the fact that the re-engined airplanes will draw much of their demand from the 60 operators in 40 countries the company counts as loyal customers.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian company continues working on improvements to its existing E170, E175, E190 and E195 aircraft, including a new health management system and aerodynamics mods such as larger winglets that Silva said he expected would generate a 3-percent fuel-burn improvement over current standards.
Silva said the company aims to continue its strategy of offering an avenue to “right sizing” for operators of larger narrowbodies such as the A320 family and Boeing 737. “The advantage of the E-Jets is their very efficient trip costs,” noted Silva. “If Airbus and Boeing cut fuel burn, we need to do the same.”